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  4. Holidays in Cyprus: what you need to know before traveling to the island

The subtleties of rest in Cyprus, which will help you properly prepare for the trip.

Who does not need a visa to Cyprus

Cyprus is a member of the Union of European countries, so holders of European passports can breathe a sigh of relief and enter Cyprus simply with a passport, without obtaining a visa. Also, holders of Schengen and biometric passports do not need a visa.

But in general, citizens of many countries of the world can obtain a visa on the spot in Cyprus for a period of one month to 90 days. Before traveling to Cyprus, check what are the entry rules for citizens of your country.

We figured out the visa - it's time to choose a hotel in Cyprus.


Coronavirus restrictions: retest canceled

For a long time, arrivals in Cyprus had to be re-tested at the airport at their own expense. This stopped many travelers who were afraid to go into isolation. But now the re-test on arrival has been canceled regardless of vaccination status. What restrictions apply in 2022?

  • From April 18, 2022, all vaccinated citizens over the age of 12 are exempted from taking a PCR test 72 hours before arrival. That is, you can simply fly with a vaccination certificate (vaccines approved by WHO are recognized).
  • Unvaccinated tourists must fly with a test that was taken no earlier than 72 hours in advance. The test must be in English, the result must be negative, and the vaccine must be approved by the European Medicines Agency. You don't need to take an arrival test.

Also, all tourists will no longer need to fill out a special form for Cyprus flight Pass.


When to go to Cyprus

The answer to this question depends on your expectations. If you are planning a lazy beach holiday, take a package in the summer. June, July and August are suitable for relaxing in a hotel by the sea, without long daytime walks. Active tourists who are going to conquer the mountains and trails are better off avoiding a trip in July and August. At this time, the Cypriot sun becomes harsh, and sometimes the temperature can reach +40 degrees. If you are interested in seeing the island, you can look in October-November, April-May. By the way, summer already begins in May, but there are not so many vacationers yet. And the optimal time for swimming is May-June.

The velvet season comes in autumn, capturing not only September, but also October.


What is the best way to travel around the island

Bus service is well developed in Cyprus. There are both long-distance buses and village buses that will allow you to look into the most remote parts of the island. But only a rented car will help you fully feel the freedom and get to know the island to the maximum. If you are planning trips to the mountains, choose an SUV or a car with a powerful engine. Remember that traffic in Cyprus is left-handed: this has already happened since the time of the British.


Where to go on vacation with children

You will find ideal shallow beaches in Larnaca, Ayia Napa, Protaras and Coral Bay near Paphos. There are gentle beaches and clear sea, sun loungers, umbrellas, toilets, lifeguards. Coastal cafes often have a high chair, sometimes a playground is adjacent to the beach.

Protaras is one of the best holiday resorts in Cyprus with children. A quiet resort village with a developed infrastructure is perfect for family leisure. Party friendly Ayia Napa is also a good option due to its great beaches.

Limassol can be considered for a holiday with a child. This is the largest city in Cyprus on the coast with many parks and playgrounds. Some beaches are pebbly. By the way, the most interesting entertainment awaits children in Limassol and Ayia Napa: water parks and amusement park.

But Paphos is a little like a children's holiday because of the rocky beaches and inconvenient entrance. It is better to choose a place outside the city. For example, go on vacation near Paphos, in Coral Bay.

Book hotels in the best resorts of Cyprus!


Two Cyprus: how to travel between North and South

Since the 70s, the island has split for political reasons: it is divided into two parts. How to travel from the European south to the Turkish north?

When leaving from the southern part of Cyprus to the northern part, tourists do not "make nerves" and do not have problems.

  • When crossing the border of Northern Cyprus from the South, the border guards do not put a stamp in the passport.
  • There are several crossings between South and North Cyprus. Crossing the border takes from 5 to 20 minutes depending on the season. The return procedure is also fast: Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots check passports.
  • One of the popular crossings is in Nicosia, which is divided into two parts by a green buffer zone. Through it you can return back to South Cyprus.
  • Buses run regularly from the cities of Southern Cyprus to Nicosia.
  • There is a nuance with a car - insurance for a car rented in the Republic of Cyprus does not cover visiting the northern part of the island. But when crossing the border, you can buy insurance: the cost is 20 euros for 3 days. However, it applies only to third parties: the insurance company will pay for the repair of someone else's car, and you will have to pay out of your own "pocket" for the repair of a rented car.

Important! If you flew from Turkey to the Turkish part of Cyprus, then according to the laws of the Republic of Cyprus you are a violator: you can enter the Northern part only from the territory of southern Cyprus.


The main resorts of Cyprus and their differences

There are several main resorts in Cyprus, three of them are large cities. If you want bright parties, loud music and youth parties, definitely go to Ayia Napa. This is local Ibiza, where nightlife lovers go for entertainment.

  • Paphos lives up to its name. It is more calm, measured and a little pompous. High class hotels are considered among the most expensive in Cyprus. It is worth considering that Paphos has a rocky coast and not all beaches are suitable for families with children. And sometimes waves come to the shores.
  • Larnaca. An ideal place to relax with children. Firstly, a long string of small sandy beaches with a convenient entry. Secondly, a huge promenade runs along the beach, full of attractions, entertainment, cafes, restaurants, ice cream and souvenirs. Public transport runs along it. Easy to get from the airport: only half an hour. Such a trip with children is comfortable.
  • Polis is a paradise for those who want to escape into silence and be closer to the Akamas reserve, where every stone is a legend. This is where Aphrodite lived!
  • Protaras. Brother of the noisy Ayia Napa, but quiet and family friendly, with beautiful nature and incredible turquoise water. Protaras hosts the famous show with light and music fountains. The beaches are perfect for families with children. But from here it is much more difficult to get out into civilization.
  • The resorts of northern Cyprus are a different story. Usually tourists visit the southern part of the island. And they look into Northern Cyprus for the sake of interest with an excursion. But there are luxury hotels on the northern coast as well.


What money to bring to Cyprus

There is only one answer: bring the euro. This currency has long been in use in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus. On the territory of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the Turkish lira is used. But, most likely, you will look there only for an excursion, and you will live in the southern part. Also in Cyprus, you can easily pay by card.


What to bring with you from Cyprus?

What souvenirs to look for on the island to surprise everyone with gifts? Here is a small list of ideas:

  • Just look at the beautiful lace! The traditional Cypriot type of lace, named after the village of Lefkara, is simply amazing. This lace weaving technique is listed as a UNESCO heritage and became the muse of Leonardo da Vinci. He arrived in Cyprus in the 15th century to design a defensive structure for Famagusta. In Lefkara he first saw Cypriot embroidery. He liked the lace so much that he captured them on his famous "Last Supper". The drawing is performed in one color scheme, using white, beige and pistachio colors. An ornament is applied to a dense canvas, along which cuts are made and wrapped with threads. Use only scissors, a needle and thread and a thimble.
  • Symbolism associated with the goddess Aphrodite. The island is the birthplace of the goddess of love, who came out of the sea foam on the local shores. Therefore, figurines of Aphrodite are sold at every turn in Cyprus.
  • Commandaria is one of the oldest wines in the world, which is produced using traditional technologies. Special aftertaste with hints of southern fruits, fragrant spices and nuts. It is made from several varieties of grapes: dark and white. The wine got its name back in the 12th century, when the crusaders bought Cyprus from Richard the Lionheart.
  • Pottery originated on the island over 6,000 years ago! Ceramics in Cyprus has a unique style. Look how many interesting pots are in the souvenir shop!
  • Cypriot donkey. Funny island symbol. You will find a nice souvenir in any shop: it reminds you of who helped Cyprus become such a beneficial land.
  • Present number 1, which is worth taking away from Cyprus.
  • Ask in the silver shops for jewelry from the village of Lefkara. This is the best souvenir that you can take away from Cyprus as a gift to a loved one. Silversmiths appeared in Cyprus in the 18th century. They used the technique of applying a pattern of silver threads to metal, making filigree jewelry.
  • Carob syrup helps prolong youth and health.
  • Damask rose products are the pride of Agros village.


What to try in Cyprus

Most of the dishes of Cyprus have Greek roots: you will certainly meet moussaka. But Cypriot cuisine has its own special notes. Try local taverns meze - fish or meat, halloumi cheese, lamb kleftiko, stewed lamb baked in a clay pot. Sheftalia - these are local sausages in a natural casing with a lot of spices. Order octopus in red wine or soup made from wheat and sour goat milk in the tavern.

And for dessert, don't be surprised by Turkish delight - Cyprus combines many customs, traditions and cuisines.


What language to speak in Cyprus

English is spoken almost everywhere in tourist locations. Sometimes you can meet those who speak Russian, especially in Limassol. But the native language for the inhabitants of the Republic of Cyprus is Greek. You will be surrounded by Greek signs and price tags. Do not be embarrassed: the translator in your smartphone will help you. Also, many people know Turkish.

How to plan a trip to Cyprus

  • Decide on the time of your trip to Cyprus. Are you looking for a seaside vacation or are you planning to visit sights, travel around the island, get to know its historical part? Are you going to visit only South Cyprus or look also at the northern part of the island? So you will understand which month is better to visit Cyprus.
  • When you have decided on the dates, pick up tickets. You can subscribe to mailing lists of low- cost airlines that fly to Cyprus. This will increase the chances of finding a cheap promotional ticket.
  • There are two airports in South Cyprus: you arrive in Paphos or Larnaca. You can stay in these cities or plan your next trip.
  • If you plan to lie on the seashore, spend time at one resort. From there you can take several excursions around the area. For example, if you are staying in Paphos, it is logical to explore the Akamas peninsula. And postpone your trip to Ayia Napa for another time.
  • If you plan to see everything, break your trip into several parts. Spend a few days at each resort. First, relax in Paphos, and then go to Limassol, Larnaca, Ayia Napa. And see interesting places along the way. Do not forget to set aside a couple of days to explore central Cyprus and its northern part. You can get there from any city by bus. Ideally, rent a car: this way you will have more time.
  • If you explore Cyprus by bus, check the transport schedule in advance on the official website of the carriers. This way you can read about the budget of the trip, and coordinate your plans with the time of departure of the buses.


How much money to take to Cyprus

About 500-600 euros per person for a week will be enough. Of these, about 150 euros will be spent on budget housing, 300 euros - for food in cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, 20 euros - for transport (if we rest in the same city), about 50 euros for excursions and 50-100 euros for souvenirs. But these are modest estimates: it all depends on the scope of the vacation and the possibilities of the wallet.

Tips for visiting Cyprus

  • Book accommodation in advance. Cyprus is a popular destination and in the summer good accommodation options sell out quickly. For example, if you fly to the island in June-July, you should book accommodation already in February-March. The cost of renting housing depends on the location and proximity to the sea. You can stay not only in a hotel, but also rent cozy apartments.
  • Book a car in advance and pick it up right at the airport. It is more convenient and so you save on taxis.
  • Consider whether you need full board at the hotel. If you plan to spend time on excursions, breakfast is enough.
  • Do not choose July and August for hiking and cycling: it is too hot.
  • Stay tuned for interesting events. For example, wine festivals: they are arranged in the fall!
  • In hotels and inns the service is already included in the bill: in addition to the check, you need to pay 10%. You don't have to leave a tip, but you don't have to take change. It is customary to leave small tips for taxi drivers, hairdressers, and porters.
  • If you go to archaeological sites in the summer, it's best to get up early before the sun gets too aggressive.
  • Photography and filming in state museums require special permission.
  • To visit monasteries and churches, women must wear skirts and covered shoulders, and men must wear trousers.
  • Tap water in Cyprus is not recommended to drink, although it is quite clean.
  • From May to September from 13:00 to 16:00 in Cyprus, a siesta or afternoon rest. During this time, many establishments may not work.
  • Outlets in Cyprus are non-standard. They "got" the islanders from Britain and have three exits. It is unrealistic to charge a laptop in them. Electrical voltage in the network 240 V, 50 Hz. You will need an adapter: bring it with you, not all hotels or guest houses provide such a boon to civilization.


And most importantly, what awaits you during your holiday in Cyprus - emerald water, European resorts and original culture with many customs, antiquities, delicious dishes and hospitality.

It remains to choose a hotel. Choose Cyprus resorts in the WIOTTO catalog!


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